A Nigerian Christian forgives Boko Haram militants who nearly killed him.
John Yakuba and his family survived an attack by Boko Haram and fled to Cameroon, however, later on Yakuba returned to his home to retrieve their animals and some of their belongings. The family faced starvation at a refugee camp, and Yakuba hoped to sell the animals to support them. Boko Haram militants saw Yakuba entering his home, however, and captured him.
“We know you’re John,” they said to him, “You must convert to Islam or else you will die a painful death.” When Yakuba refused to denounce Christ, they tied his arms and legs to a tree, and hacked his hands with a knife.
“Can you become a Muslim now?” the militants asked. “You can kill my body, but not my soul,” Yakubu cried out. The militants continued to cut his feet and back with a machete and knife to torture him. “We will show you,” they said. Yakuba’s head was slashed, and an axe was driven into his knee, reaching the bone. He lost consciousness and was left tied to the tree for three days before someone found him, after which he was taken to the hospital in a coma. When Yakuba recovered sufficiently to be interviewed, he offered a message of peace to his attackers.
“I have forgiven the Islamic militants, because they did not know what they are doing,” he said.